About 1 in 8 cancer deaths in Australia can be attributed to smoking. More than 15,000 Australians are diagnosed with a smoking-related cancer each year.
Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer caused by smoking – more than 80% of lung cancer cases are caused by it.
Smoking also causes cancer of the voice box, throat, bladder, mouth, tongue, nose, nasal sinus, oesophagus, ovary, cervix, ureter, bone marrow (myeloid leukaemia), pancreas, stomach, liver and bowel.
How does smoking cause cancer?
Smoke contains over 70 chemicals known to cause cancer. Certain chemicals in tobacco smoke damage an important gene called p53. The p53 gene is found in the nucleus of every cell in the human body, and its main role is to prevent cancer cells evolving. Cigarette smoke is the main cause of p53 mutations in lung cancer.
The good news is that it's never too late to stop smoking. The younger you are, and the sooner you stop, the better. Even smokers who quit at the age of 60 can reduce their chance of getting cancer and other diseases.
To contact Quitline:
- Call 13 7848
- Text us on 0482 090 634
- Chat online via webchat at quit.org.au
- Message us on WhatsApp 61 385 832 920 or Facebook Messenger @quitvic
- Or ask us to call you back for free at quit.org.au/callback
Qualified Quitline counsellors offer help with quitting for the cost of a local call. Your friendly Quitline counsellor will listen carefully and give you reliable information and support suited to your needs. You can also arrange to have a Quitline counsellor call you. Ask for a free Quit pack to be mailed to you.
Visit the Quit website: Create your own quit plan with easy-to-find information suited to you. You’ll find tips, distractions, a tool that adds up the money you’ll save, and stories from people who have stopped smoking.
QuitTxt sends regular SMS messages to help you keep on track while you quit. To begin, all you need to do is answer a few questions at www.quit.org.au/quittxt
Sign up for QuitMail: Over 12 weeks we will send you regular emails tracking your health and money gains, plus lots of tips to help you stay quit.
Avoid secondhand smoke
Even if you don’t smoke, breathing in other people’s cigarette smoke can increase your risk of cancer. Make sure that you and your family are smokefree.
- Be a smokefree role model for others.
- Tell people if their smoke bothers you.
- Make your home and car smokefree.
- Choose venues with a smokefree outdoor area.